The battle for your new TV is already going on at your nearest home electronic supply center. The things to consider are numerous and probably a whole lot more than the average TV viewer really cares to know. So what you really need to consider is the choice between a full HD LCD TV over an HD ready TV.

There are four main HD signals broadcast today. They are:

  • 720i – 1280x720 interlaced
  • 720p – 1280x720 progressive scan
  • 1080i – 1920x1080 interlaced
  • 1080p – 1920x1080 progressive scan
Practically all the HDTVs produced today can support all the signals shown above. Therefore, it boils down to the screen resolution, sometimes called the pixel resolution, as the main criterion for your shopping guide.

There are four main HDTV types available for sale today. They are:
  • HD Ready – An HDTV set capable of accepting HD signals but may not be able to display the full 1920x1080 resolution.
  • Full HD – An HDTV set that can receive HD signals and is able to display the full resolution of 1920x1080.
  • 720p HDTV – This is another configuration for an HD Ready HDTV.
  • 1080p HDTV – This is another configuration for Full HD HDTV.
So the consideration comes to the question, "Can the HDTV display a full 1920x1080 signal?" The bottom line is this – if you are looking at an HD Ready HDTV and you receive a 1080i or a 1080p signal it will scale down the signal resolution to fit the smaller screen resolution that the set has. You are losing resolution with an HD Ready HDTV when trying to receive a 1080i/1080p signal.

Full HD HDTVs that have a screen resolution of 1920x1080 and are receiving a 1080i or 1080p signal are able to display the picture fully at 1920x1080 without any loss of resolution. If money is not an issue, you ought to opt for a full HD TV, for you will enjoy a much better picture.

The new TVs utilize two main technologies in screen development, which are liquid crystal display and plasma. Both technologies feature large, thin flat screens along with the capability of producing great sound reproduction when coupled to home theater systems. They each have equal availability for various video inputs and can handle most universal remote controls. Yet, there are some major differences between them.

The LCDs generally will be thinner than the plasma sets of the same diagonal size. This makes them easier to install in the room or to hang on the wall.

The plasma screen models feature images with deeper black renderings and sharper contrasts than the LCD machines. The requirement, though, for the plasma unit is that you must be in a very dark room.

LCD TVs produce a brighter image than the plasma TVs, but overall the plasma displays reproduce color more accurately. You will find that plasma sets exhibit more richness and natural rendering of color also. However, in a normally lit room as found in many homes, the LCD produces a much more acceptable picture due to its appreciation of ambient light.

The LCD TVs' viewing angle at best is about 120 degrees. The plasma TVs' viewing angle is right at 180 degrees.

You will find on the LCD screen a motion lag that has been hard for manufacturers to over come. This 'lag' produces a 'trailer' effect and shows up a lot when there is fast moving action scenes. The plasma display handles fast-moving images quite well.

So, when you finalize your decision, you may want to choose a set that has at least a 42" diagonally measured screen in order to appreciate the best that a full HD LCD TV has to offer. Plasma sets are great, too, but this author leans to the LCD models.